UPDATE 15 March 2022: Fahad Shah was charged and detained again in the matter below and is being held at Safakadal Police Station. We join international colleagues in demanding his immediate release, and the cessation of police harassment against journalists.
UPDATE 5 March 2022: Fahad Shah was arrested on Saturday, for the third time this year, following his release on bail in the matter related below. Again, we call for his freedom. Support his paper, the independent Kashmir Walla, if you can.
Our friend and colleague Fahad Shah, founding editor of the Kashmir Walla, an independent news organization in Kashmir, has been arrested yet again. He has been harassed by the police on multiple occasions, beginning in 2017, along with scores of fellow Kashmiri journalists from every publication in the country, many of whom are likewise in police detention.
Fahad’s high national and international reputation as a principled, fair and evenhanded journalist and editor seems to have resulted in especially harsh treatment. He had been detained on February 4th on a separate charge. Already unwell at the time of that earlier arrest, he spent most of February in police custody in an unheated cell with no electricity, and nighttime temperatures below freezing.
We join press organizations around the world in demanding Fahad Shah’s immediate release and urge our readers to support the Kashmir Walla with a subscription. (The annual rate of ₹999.00 is about US $14 at exchange rate on 3/31/22.) Journalists taking the life-threatening risk of upholding the values of the free press in oppressive circumstances, like those in Kashmir, are owed all the support we can muster. Please help if you can.
[UPDATED 3/31/22 to amend exchange rate]